The Senate Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, on Thursday said he would continue to oppose bills that seek to create new universities in Nigeria.
Mr Adeyeye said this while contributing to a debate on a bill seeking the establishment of Maritime University in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The bill was sponsored by Isaac Alfa, Kogi East senator.
Mr Adeyeye, while commenting on the bill, said the existing universities are poorly funded.
He vowed to continue to oppose bills seeking creation of new universities until the present ones are well funded.
“It is no secret that the federal universities across this country are extremely poorly funded.
“You take the same basket of money, you create more universities, and you spread the money around into more places and you get even greater and worse under-funding.
“With every cell in my body, I will continue to oppose every new university until the existing ones are well-funded. Otherwise, we are just foisting 419 on our children.
“If there is a need for maritime studies, lets have universities in maritime areas to create a faculty of maritime studies. But to keep creating new ones is nothing but foisting 419 and gimmickry on our children. It is not fair to the young ones.
“Therefore, I pray that all of us will oppose this new university and any new one until the existing ones are well-funded,” he said.
His position was supported by Adamu Aliero, who said the existing universities only churn out half-baked graduates due to its poor funding.
In the same vein, the Senate Minority Whip, Abiodun Olujimi, condemned the bill while. She urged Mr Alfa to withdraw, do work more on the bill and re-present. But Mr Alfa insisted on pushing the bill through second reading.
“Just as the last time here (when a motion to declare Kogi oil producing state was rejected), I was asked to withdraw, I didn’t, four of the resolutions were accepted.
“This bill is a well thought-out bill. We shouldn’t attach geo-location to anything we do. Having done so much work on this I decline to withdraw the bill,” he said.
The bill was eventually rejected after a voice vote.